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“The school leader can convert ordinary school into centre of excellence”

Post by Javid Sofi on Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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Dr Fayaz Ahmad Bhat is Nodal Officer for State Leadership Academy (SLA), State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Jammu and Kashmir. He has also served as teacher and school head trainer, education consultant and has professional affiliations with national and international research organizations.
He holds Ph.D in Economics and has done various diplomas and trainings on school leadership and management, Education planing &administration and Education for sustainable development.So far , he has also authored three books and 18 research papers.
Speaking to Rising Kashmir’s correspondentJavid Sofi, Dr Fayaztalks about role and vision of SLA SCERT, J&K for School Education in the region.
What is Educational leadership, in reference to SCERTJammu and Kashmir?
Globally education system is a collection of “institutions, actions and processes that affect the ‘educational status/outcomes’ of individuals in the short and long run.” These systems are made up of a large number of actors (teachers, parents, politicians, bureaucrats, civil society, NGOs, international organizations) interacting with each other in different institutions (schools, departments, societies) for reasons like provision of access, equity, quality of education, affordability and accountability by developing curriculums, monitoring school performance and managing teachers.
The SCERT J&K is a teacher education institution established in 2020, in similar pattern of NCERT at national level. SCERT J&K is highest level of academic body, which acts an advisory body to Government. SCERT frames policies and procedures, which are designed to equip prospective teachers, school leaders and other stakeholders with knowledge, attitudes, behaviour and skill to meet J&K’s National and Global priorities like NEP 2020 and SDGs 2030.
SCERT J&K has 13 departments and SLA with human resource strength of more than 1000 educational professionals whoare working on designing curriculum, education research and capacity building of teachers, heads of institutions and other stakeholders. SCERT is committed to transform 23000 schools from mere teaching organization to learning organization. SCERT is continuously working on improving learning outcomes among 23,00,000 students.
Tell us about SLA SCERT J and K ?
The School Leadership Academy SCERT J and K was established in 2021.It focuses on functioning towards evolving strong foundation of learning with blend of knowledge, skills, attitudes and workable leadership models. The motto of the SLA is to lead by influencing all school leaders across J and K. To achieve this mission, the SLA is working on national curriculum framework on school leadership and development programme conceptualized by NCSL New Delhi.
The SLA-SCERT J and K has a mandate of curriculum and material development (training modules, documentation and video documentaries) for school leaders, capacity building (Induction, refresher, orientation, workshop, seminars/webinars etc) of heads of schools, resource persons and system level functionaries in education department of J and K on PSLM and SLDP, networking and institution building for transforming schooling system, research and development on SLDP( School leadership development programme) especially leadership challenges faced by the school heads and system level functionaries with region specific solutions.
What are your core focus areas for improving school leadership for transforming school leaders of J and K?
The curriculum framework of School leadership and development programme is fundamentally based on developing perspectives of school leadership,developing self transforming teaching learning processes, building and leading teams, leading innovations, leading partnerships, leading school administration and consolidation and drawing school development plan.
Under this framework, SLA is preparing region specific material development, capacity building programmes for 4400 heads of institutions and resource persons.
What have you done since its inception in J and K?Can you highlight key achievements?
Since July 2021, the SLA documented initiatives of School education department, documentation of leadership practices of school heads/principals, development of 17 modules on School leadership development available on our website,www.slascertjk.org, development of 6 video documentaries of school leadership development across J and K, on KGBV Kuligam, Kupwara, Behak (mobile schools) at Tosamadan Budgam, HSS Banihal Jammu, BHSS Baramulla, HS Aglar Shopain, HS Isham Uri Baramulla, translation of online programme on school leadership and management in regional languages and video documentation of 20 best practices of school leaders.
We also prepared 88 videos on best practices of HoIs, NEP 2020 implementation expert videos especially on ECCE, FLN, Vocational education live shows etc which are available on SLA Youtube channel with more than one lakh views.
Besides, we also carried out numerous workshops, online training programmes and capacity building programmes from time to time.
We collected data of newly promoted heads of institutions inducted since 2019 (Headmasters, Principals, ZEOs), selected a team of 20 district nodal officers, 20 district level resource persons, 20 SDMC nodal officers, 200 KRPs from all districts of J and K (10 from each district with 2 principals, 2 Sr. Lecturers, 2 headmasters, 2 ZEOs, 2 Head teachers), conducted need analysis of 200 KRPs on the capability maturity model besides taking some research projects.
What are you looking for in school heads in future in light of NEP 2020?
The schools are in public domain, as never before, the commitments of achieving SDGs by 2030, 21st century skill set, the change in the social matrix has increased the aspirations and expectations of society especially after NEP 2020. There is realization that educational system must change. The head of a school is the prime mover, leading changes and enabling transformation. The school head as transformative agent and occupying the centre stage in all reforms of government. The school leader is playing a key role and is answerable to all that happens inside the school. The school leader can convert ordinary schools into 'centres of excellence'.He/she should make shift in the role of school heads from mere execution of administrative and managerial responsibilities to initiating proactive practices for school transformation.

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